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Insurance - Property

Webster's Dictionary describes Insurance as:

An agreement in which a person makes regular payments to a company and

the company promises to pay money if the person is injured or dies, 

or to pay money equal to the value of something (such as a house or car) 

if it is damaged, lost, or stolen.

In a Disaster or Emergency, Insurance can play a major role in your Financial Recovery.

Before a Disaster

Speak with your insurance agent about your specific needs.

Many Insurance Companies will give you a discount on multiple policies.

Some insurances are only available through your State.

It is important to ask the "right" questions about Disaster coverage, depending on where you live.

Some types of Insurance you should consider are:

Life Insurance

Homeowner's Insurance

Renter's Insurance

Vehicle Insurance (auto, motor home, motorcycle, boat, etc.)

Business Insurance

Liability Insurance

Flood Insurance

Earthquake Insurance

Medical Insurance

Long Term Care Insurance

Insurance can help in a Disaster of any size.

Remember, fair market value is not the same as replacement cost.

Ask your insurance agent about this when setting up your homeowner's

or renter's insurance.

Before a Disaster

►Create an inventory of your personal property, including all model names

and serial numbers. Ask about a rider for special jewelry, antiques or art pieces.

Do not overlook items you use seasonally or infrequently and store

in out-of-the-way places, such as special china and silverware, holiday decorations, 

summer and winter sports equipment, carpentry tools, and baby-care furnishings.

► Keep sales receipts and photograph or videotape each room.

Store the inventory information off the premises, such as with a relative

or in a safe deposit box. 

Give a copy of all your pictures and records to your Insurance Agent.

► Keep the telephone numbers of your Insurance Agent, your Insurance Company’s local claims office, 

and its home office readily at hand.

During a Disaster

Stay safe. The lives of you and your family are your priority.

After a Disaster

► Safety is your top priority.

Make sure the dwelling is safe to stay or to enter if you were not inside.

In a larger disaster, this determination may be made by the authorities.

► When you file a claim, you will want to make sure the insurance company 

pays you fairly for any losses of covered property and damaged or destroyed property.

You will need to prove a loss took place and confirm the value of that loss.

Make a preliminary list of damaged or destroyed items and the degree

of damage for the property. Take pictures of the damage.

You can then compare these pictures with the ones you took before the disaster.

► Do not consider your preliminary list a final list.

Chances are you may forget to list some of the items.

As you think of other things, let your insurance agent know.

Important Tips:

If you have experienced weather damage to your home or property,

take the following steps:

► Contact your insurance agent or company immediately to report your loss. 

 The agent will prepare a Notice of Loss form and an adjuster will be assigned

to assist you. Follow the instructions given to you by claims personnel.

Since there may be a lot of people needing help at the same time, 

anything you have done before the disaster to prepare for a loss will be to your benefit now.

►Take notes. Start from the beginning and keep a log of the people to whom

you spoke and when. 

Summarize your conversation. 

Ask questions if you do not understand instructions. 

If possible, photograph the outside of the premises, showing the damage. 

Then photograph the inside of the premises, showing the damaged property .

► Figure out the extent of the damage.

Separate the damaged from the undamaged property and put it in the best possible order 

for the adjuster’s examination. 

If possible, protect the property from further damage.

► Wait for the adjuster to arrive! 

Do not call anyone to repair or replace your loss without first getting instructions from your adjuster. 

Your insurer’s visual inspection of your loss may be necessary before repairs are undertaken.

Do not throw away damaged property until your company’s adjuster advises

you it is all right to do so. If your home is damaged, make only temporary repairs 

until a claims adjuster looks at the damage.

Making permanent repairs before the adjuster’s inspection could trigger a denial of your claim.

Insurance agents are there to help you determine the best coverage for you and your needs. Ask the hard questions. Make sure you understand the policies you have and what they do and do not cover.

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